Gold. Picture: REUTERS
Gold. Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold pared heavy early losses that came in the midst of a broad commodity sell-off on Thursday, bouncing off of a 19-month low on short-covering and a softer dollar following news that Beijing will hold trade talks with Washington this month.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,172.48/oz as of 4.26am GMT, after earlier falling as much as 1.2% to $1,159.96, its lowest since January 2017.

US gold futures were down 0.5% at $1,179.5/oz.

Stop-loss selling early in the session pushed prices sharply lower, and they have recovered since on short-covering and physical buying, said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

Bullion has lost its appeal as a safe-haven over the past few months as investors have preferred to park assets in US treasuries and the dollar amid the uncertainty caused by the China-US trade dispute.

The dollar was nudged away from a 13-month peak on Thursday, though, as risk aversion eased and emerging-market currencies recovered on news that a Chinese delegation will travel to the US late in August for trade talks.

Asian shares also pulled away from one-year lows after news of the trade talks, although Turkey’s currency crisis and the fear of an economic slowdown in China kept most markets in the red.

In an ongoing dispute with Turkey, which has roiled financial and currency markets, the US on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs, even if Ankara frees a US pastor, as Qatar pledged $15bn in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.

Some emerging-market countries pared their holdings of US treasuries in June, data from the US treasury department showed on Wednesday, in what analysts viewed as a move to support their currencies as the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates in 2018.

Higher US rates tend to boost the dollar and bond yields, adding pressure on greenback-denominated, non-yielding gold.

Spot gold may break a support at $1,162/oz and fall further into a range of $1,142-$1,154, Reuters technicals analyst said.

In other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.1% at $14.44/oz after earlier hitting the lowest since February 2016 at $14.30.

Platinum was 0.8% higher at $769.40, after earlier sinking to its lowest since October 2008 at $751.25.

Palladium rose 0.5% at $846.47/oz, having hit an over 13-month low at $834.50, earlier.